The Scholastic Aptitude Test (previously known as the SAT and currently referred to as the SAT Reasoning Test) is a standardized test used in the American college admissions process. By evaluating a student’s knowledge of reading, writing, and math skills, the test determines whether they are college-ready. High school juniors and seniors who plan to attend college typically take the SAT. (1)
The goal of the SAT is to give colleges and universities a standardized evaluation of a student’s potential and intellectual ability. The SAT is frequently used by colleges and universities in the admissions process, along with additional factors, including high school grades, extracurricular activities, and personal essays. (1)
When you are studying for the SAT and want to get high scores, nothing will be on your mind other than preparing for the big day. Studying and practicing test-taking techniques like time management and eliminating incorrect answer choices are typical parts of SAT preparation. Additionally, various tools are accessible to students to aid in their preparation, including study aids, online courses, and practice exams. However, you will always be reviewing in school, at the learning center, and at home.
But since you can’t stay too long in school or at your review center, you will be spending most of your time at home studying for the SAT. Because of this, you have to make sure that every minute you devote to your review sessions in your home will be worth it.
If you want to get the most from your self-review sessions at home and prepare well for the SAT test, follow these tips:
1. Set up your study room
Setting up a study environment is crucial when preparing for the SAT since it gives you a dedicated area to concentrate on your studies without interruptions. The SAT is a challenging and complex test that requires extensive study and preparation. Therefore, having a well-organized and comfortable study space can help you maximize your study time and retain information more effectively.
Additionally, a neatly organized study space might make it simple for you to find your reference resources. Instead of wasting time looking for lost books, notes, or stationery, you can now concentrate on reviewing. Whether it’s your bedroom or an unused space in your home, make sure it has everything you need to review well for the SAT.
First, ensure you have a good desk and comfortable chair. Place your study space in an area of the room that has sufficient natural lighting. Make sure it will get enough light from an overhead source or lamp, which is a must for studying at night. Studying for the SAT at home also calls for access to a computer or laptop. As such, you should have one in your room. When placing it on your desk, make sure the monitor is at eye level.
Additionally, place all the supplies you need for studying near or on your desk. Ensure you have enough shelves and portable desk and book organizers so that you can arrange all your printed review materials properly. Use a pen holder for organizing your writing materials as well. When you have an organized and complete study station, you will be more inspired to work hard at home. You will also have everything you need to maximize the hours you spend reviewing on your own.
2. Create a study schedule
Making a study timetable is essential since it enables you to manage your time and maximize your study efforts efficiently. You may organize your study time and guarantee that you cover all the content in due time by breaking the material down into small portions. Also, a study schedule also allows you to prioritize your study time and devote more time to the subjects that demand the greatest focus. Doing this lets you concentrate your efforts where they are most required and improve your chances of getting a higher SAT score.
Creating an SAT study plan can help you spend the right number of hours reviewing for the big test at home every week. It will also enable you to devote enough time to work on your assignments, projects, and revisions for your quizzes and exams and other extracurricular activities. Following your study plan can also help prevent dawdling and doing unproductive things, which can significantly eat away your time.
If you have three more months to go before the actual SAT exam, for the first eight weeks, allot four to six hours of studying weekly. Your schedule should include reading review materials, brushing up on your reading, writing, and math skills, and taking up online or paper-based practice exams. You can spread your hours of study according to your preference and based on how much free time you have. It is best to schedule them when you don’t have review classes in school or at your learning center. To avoid experiencing mental fatigue and give your brain some rest, consider reviewing an hour every other day.
Spend at least two hours reviewing during Saturdays or Sundays. Choose one day only for your revision and get some rest during your free day. When you have only a month before your SAT exam, you have to change your schedule to add 30 or 60 minutes to your review times at home. You may want to increase your study hours during the weekend, too.
3. Do practice tests at home
One crucial aspect of SAT preparation is practicing with sample tests and taking practice exams at home. You can improve your familiarity with the exam’s format, structure, and question types by frequently practicing. By regularly taking sample exams, you can identify your areas of weakness, such as time management or particular topic areas, and change your study strategy appropriately.
Additionally, working through practice tests can assist you in developing crucial test-taking abilities, like the ability to recognize important details and efficiently manage your time. As you become more used to the exam format and build your confidence in your skills, a regular practice also helps you feel less anxious before tests. Finally, keeping track of your development over time can inspire and help maintain your preparation goals.
As such, download plenty of materials or know the best websites to use to take up online SAT mock tests. Schedule your practice exams on a Saturday or Sunday so that you will have enough time to complete these. You can cover one section at a time or multiple portions in a row, with or without a timer.
As long as you don’t have a month to go before the SAT, you can experiment with different ways of taking these mock tests at home. Although doing them based on your preference may seem unconventional, it will still help you understand the various sections of the exam and try and discover helpful test-taking strategies. After taking a practice test, check and correct your work. By doing so, you will know which areas you need to work on more and learn the right answers, which you should remember for the actual exam.
4. Read plenty of nonfiction books and other materials
Reading nonfiction books and other things can greatly help you prepare for the SAT. The test covers a wide range of topics, such as history, science, and social studies. Reading nonfiction books about these topics can help you learn more about them. By reading literature, you can learn more about the ideas and concepts in these areas, which can help you answer questions about them on the test. Also, reading nonfiction can help you improve your critical thinking and reasoning skills. Analyzing the arguments and facts in nonfiction texts allows you to draw conclusions and make well-informed decisions; these skills are tested on the SAT’s reading and writing sections.
To boost your chances of getting high scores on the reading part of the SAT, you have to give your brain plenty of mental exercises. You can do this by spending your free time going over different nonfiction materials. Keep in mind that four of the five passages you will come across the SAT exam will be nonfiction. As such, you need to improve your skills in skimming and comprehending these types of narratives.
Read newspapers and magazines that deal with current events and social issues, such as Time and The New Yorker. If you have any autobiographical books or can rent or borrow some from a library, do so since these are also excellent materials to practice your skills on. You can also find these types of reading materials online; peruse them during your free time instead of spending hours watching videos or scrolling through your social media accounts.
In addition, nonfiction books often use difficult words and sentence structures, which can make it hard to understand and remember what you read. You can improve your ability to understand and make sense of these passages by practicing with nonfiction books.
Ultimately, reading books can help you learn new words and better grasp the language used in school. Many nonfiction books use terms and ideas that are more popular in academic settings. Learning these words and ideas can improve your ability to understand and explain complicated ideas.
5. Study with a friend or group
Lastly, spending several hours reviewing alone at home for the SAT can be lonely and even boring. As such, schedule some study sessions with a friend or two once or twice a week.
Invite your friends or classmates to your home for some study sessions. Share test-taking strategies, resources, and other tips. Additionally, test each other and take some SAT practice exams as a group, and review your answers and results afterward together.
Although you will be working with your classmates and other examinees in your school or at the review center, studying with your friends at home can be more beneficial. Since you are in a more relaxed environment and with your closest peers, your mind will absorb new concepts and test-taking techniques better.
You will have a bit of fun studying together as well, which means you will avoid feeling bored while reviewing for the SAT.
To make these sessions more enjoyable, ask your parents to prepare some snacks and beverages for you and your friends to nibble on during break times. If you want your study group to stay for lunch, have your folks cook something substantial or have food delivered to your home.
By following these tips for reviewing at home and maximizing your SAT prep classes, you will be more prepared for the actual exam. And this will boost your chances of getting the scores you are aiming for.
Maloy Burman is the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Premier Genie FZ LLC. He is responsible for driving Premier Genie into a leadership position in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Education space in Asia, Middle East and Africa and building a solid brand value. Premier Genie is currently running 5 centers in Dubai and 5 centers in India with a goal to multiply that over the next 5 years.